The Rio Rancho Governing Body passed a resolution at the Nov. 16 regular meeting that would repeal and replace its rules of procedure.
According to Deputy City Manager Peter Wells, the city charter states that the governing body determines its own rules and order of business. Rules of procedure are necessary to provide an orderly and methodical plan so that the business and questions that come before the governing body may receive proper consideration and prioritization, he said.
“The Governing Body first adopted rules of procedure in 1994 and were subsequently amended 10 times over the years. The last review and amendment of the rules of procedure occurred in 2015. Reviewing and updating the rules of procedure document was identified as a need to the governing body at a public meeting in September 2022,” Wells said at the meeting.
The proposed changes to the rules of procedure document provide the following:
• Inclusion of information found in the city’s charter, municipal code and state law to make the document more informative/comprehensive;
• A defined process for requesting legislation/material drafting for meetings;
• Updates, additions and establishment of guidelines regarding public forum, public input on agenda items and public hearings at meetings;
• Definition of terms to provide clarity;
• Procedural updates; and
• Removal of non-applicable language and redundancy.
Councilor Bob Tyler requested one amendment to the rules at the first reading and asked that the councilors’ comments be moved up on the agenda so councilors could comment after public comment and before the regular agenda items.
Currently, the governing body has opportunity to speak at the meetings before the agenda items and after the agenda items. The new rules of procedure would limit that down to one opportunity. The new rules were going to have that opportunity at the end of the meeting, but Tyler requested it be moved to earlier in the agenda.
“The reason is when we’re letting folks know what’s going on and city staff that they’ve done a good job; I would like that to be done at the very beginning so everyone can hear that,” Tyler said.
He added that he doesn’t disagree with having only one councilor comment section but that it should be at the top of the agenda.
The governing body approved that amendment and then approved the new rules unanimously.